For Immediate Release/ Jan. 21, 2020
Priscilla Feral, President, Friends of Animals, 203 656-1522, email@example.com
Press Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
DARIEN, Conn. — Donald Trump Jr.’s latest hunting escapade in Mongolia, where he shot a rare Argali sheep and received the permit to do so only after the kill signals that it is more than time for New York State — the biggest port of entry for wildlife trophies — to take steps towards ending this cruel industry and support legislation before the General Assembly.
From 2005 to 2014, 159,144 animals were imported into New York as trophies—including 1,541 lions; 1,130 elephants and 83 pairs of tusks; 1,169 leopards, and 110 white rhinos and 3 pairs of horns.
The New York State Senate passed the Big 5 African Trophies Act last year that would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation of the trophies of African lions, leopards, elephants, and black and white rhinos and their body parts throughout New York—all threatened and endangered species. Now the New York State Assembly needs to act.
While permits from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency to hunt threatened and endangered species and import the body parts of the animals killed overseas are supposed to regulate the industry to ensure a species’ survival, the truth is obtaining the permits are often a matter of political influence. And studies show that less than 3 percent of revenues from trophy hunting return to African communities for wildlife protection.
New York City Councilman Keith Powers has introduced a resolution supporting the state trophy ban legislation. The council should approve it and the state Assembly should act in its upcoming session to end the imports here.
“The only difference between ‘illegal’ poachers and trophy hunters with permits is wealth and political connections,” said FoA President Priscilla Feral. “It’s time for New York to end an industry that is contributing to the rapid decline of Africa’s most persecuted and beloved species.”
Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in N.Y. in 1957 and headquartered in Darien, CT, advocates for the rights of free-living and domestic animals. FoA is proud to be a woman-founded and -led organization for more than 60 years.